Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wooden Cubbies

One of my very favorite things is finding useful things to put things in. Winnie the Pooh's gift to Eeyore on his birthday would have gone over even better with me. "Pooh tells Eeyore that he has brought him a Useful Pot, with A Very Happy Birthday with Love from Pooh written on the side, and that Eeyore can use it to put things in. And he gives Eeyore the pot. At this point Eeyore become quite excited, because has just spotted something very interesting indeed. He tells Pooh that his balloon will fit into the pot! Pooh says no, and explains that balloons are much too big to go into pots, and what Eeyore should do with a balloon is hold it and...But Eeyore says that his balloon is different, and he picks it up with his teeth, and puts it into the pot - and it fits beautifully! So he takes it out again, and puts it in again, and takes it out again, and puts it in again. "So it does!" said Pooh. "It goes in!" "So it does!" said Piglet. "And it comes out!" "Doesn't it?" said Eeyore. "It goes in and out like anything." I have a special fondness for vintage wooden boxes, crates, and cubbies. Happily, there are plenty of opportunities to find useful things to put things in. I have acquired several wooden tool caddies similar to the one above by cottagefarm. I keep tools organized in my studio in the compartments. I'm proud to be giving them a new life, doing what they were meant to do.

On the other hand, you don't need to feel restrained by an item's previous life when considering its usefulness to you. The divided wooden box above by funkeyfinds demonstrates how vintage wooden boxes function just as comfortably as display shelves.

Vintage wooden egg crates can also lend a hand in keeping things organized. This egg crate by prairieantiques (above) still has the cardboard inserts to compartmentalize your eggs, spools, jars, or balls of yarn.

I have an egg crate very similar to the one above at sevenbc. I use it to corrale the countless catalogs and magazines that I haven't gone through yet. It sits by the end of the couch.

DakorahDesigns offers another version of the egg crate, this one with a wire to hang it and cardboard inserts for organization. I think egg crates would be fantastic for storing Christmas ornaments...

Old drawers present a world of possibilities as well. The little box above by littlebyrdvintage reminds me of a drawer, since there are finger grooves on each side, as if to pull it from the wooden counter at the general store. Or maybe it belonged to a desk that has long since departed. Either way, I am sure the box would be up to the duty of storing your greeting cards or paper clip collection.

These miniature drawers may have also come from a desk, and would be perfect for storing hard candy for the mid-day drop in blood sugar. I could also see them being used to display business cards on the edge of a desk. Scoop them up at cabinwindows.

Sewing machines used to come attached to a table with drawers for all your bits and bobbins. This was in the days before computerized embroidery settings - I still remember when my brother fixed a "broken" sewing machine that was stuck on the "puppy setting." Having traded sewing tables for puppy settings, there are now volumes of sewing drawers in antique shops, or as above from rhinestonesnrust, perfect for organizing your life with a little vintage style.

Maybe you're so far from computerized embroidery that you actually still do sewing yourself. In that case you'll need a safe spot to store your needles. Txalteredart2 has these wooden boxes that would also be great for beads or any other small bits you don't want to get away from you.

If you're less of a tailor and more of a cubicle dweller, perhals this wood and metal card file is more up your alley. FromGraytoGold demonstrates that this drawer is equally good for storage and display. You can even label the contents!

Keeping in the office theme, this vintage wooden paper sorter at ShabbyNChic shows it's up to the challenge on more than one level. I wouldn't know whether to put paper in it, fill it with sand and rocks for a zen garden, or let the kittens hide in it peering out the window.

As Freud said, sometimes a wooden box is just a wooden box. At least that's what I have heard he said. VintageCabinet has this great primitive wooden box. Its former life was as... a wooden box, and it's just as functional now as it was then.

I love the knotty holes in this vintage wooden box with a sliding top. I could see storing candles, matches, or playing cards in this box by MaterialExcess.

This wooden box has a handy latch to keep contents safely inside, and is constructed from a fruit crate. Find it at lemontreefarm.

Luncheonettevintage has this wooden artist's case, complete with paint spatters on the inside. All you have to tell me is that this is for storing art materials and I'm sold. I have a similar wooden artist's case at home. It keeps track of my brushes, paints, and other painting tools.

This vintage typewriter case lid was altered to serve as a display cabinet or desk organizer. I love how polkadotHOME photographed it with bits of bark. And how many curio cabinets have bonus leather handles, anyway?

I have a vintage shoe polish box similar to this one. I use it to store all those extra candles I wind up with but don't want out and about just yet. The beauty of these vintage boxes is that you can secretly store useful items in them, but use their exterior as interesting home accents. Find this shoe polish box (complete with shoe polish and brushes) at valnorthwoods.

Dairy crates like this one from ingenuityondisplay are sturdy enough for some of the heavy lifting in home storage. I have one from a local dairy farm that keeps extra slate from taking over my studio.

(A wall in my studio with printers block trays, bulletin boards and a vintage T square - see more on my flickr photostream.)

As charming as they are ubiquitous, printers block trays (or letterpress trays) make perfect curios for small objects you want to display. imwishfulthinking has this one with great varied compartment sizes.

Smart and organized doesn't mean you can't also be beautiful, demonstrated by this letterpress drawer from luckylittledot. Sadly, their last drawer has sold, putting me in a very Eeyore mood today.

Letterpress drawers are also great for organizing small items, like buttons or beads. All those little compartments to fill! elizabethwrenvintage shows us how with this listing.

Today's grand finale is this letterpress furniture cabinet from DeFrance. Furniture in letterpress speak means the blank stamps without the letters or images used in printing. Just imagine all the things you could put in those cubbies... I think even Eeyore would smile.


littlebyrd said...

Oh wow! What a wonderful mix of boxes you found!! So happy you included mine in there - thanks :)

pammaro said...

Lovely post, I too adore all the possibilities that boxes inspire. Thanks for including my sewing drawer!

Dakorah Diva said...

Thank you so much for including my old egg crate in your blog. I love old wooden boxes and crates too! :0

Dakorah Designs @ Etsy

loneweever said...

Nice!!!! I never met a Cubby I didn't love.

It really takes practice, doesn't it, to look at old things with a new eye ...

I'm wondering ... when we find an old wooden box or item .... how much to clean it up? I have a couple small boxes that I recently vacuumed, wiped with a damp cloth, and later put boiled linseed oil on them. They look and feel much better, .... but was there a preferable way?

Just thinkin'.

Sue Furrow said...

Always enjoy your post! You always find an amazing assortment.

Jana Martin said...

So love the texture of all these boxes. And thanks so much for including my luncheonette box in here!